Is their life after an affair – for you and/or your relationship?
Dealing with infidelity in a relationship can be incredibly stressful, emotionally draining and ultimately a destructive time for any couple.
For the partner whose trust has been betrayed, just carrying on with the day-to-day activities of life becomes overwhelming – let alone facing their partner and trying to maintain some semblance of a functional relationship.
Meanwhile, the individual who has had the affair is often struggling with feelings of guilt, shame and disappointment.
Not surprisingly, it can all become too much for both partners and most end up choosing to end the relationship altogether.
Life after an affair is even more painful if children are involved.
Counselling can help
If you are struggling with life after an affair, counselling (either as a couple, or as an individual) can help you to work through the pain and suffering that occurs after an affair. In counselling, you will find a non-judgemental, safe space to express your feelings, and work through the aftermath of the affair.
If you choose to attend counselling as a couple, you will be guided in the best way to communicate your thoughts and feelings about the affair, in a manner which aims to salvage the relationship rather than ending it. These feelings commonly include anger, betrayal, guilt, humiliation, and depression, to name a few. Furthermore, anxiety may develop leading to sleepless nights or panic attacks.
These feelings need to be expressed, explored and communicated in a healthy environment. Once they have been addressed, the process of forgiveness can slowly be started and trust can begin to be rebuilt.
Why has the Affair Occurred?
Counselling is also vital in understanding the reasons as to why infidelity has occurred in the relationship. There might be underlying issues in the relationship and through the process of therapy, you will be able to gain insight and take action to address these issues, so that infidelity does not occur again.
Most couples find this process immensely beneficial to their relationship, because it allows them to work collaboratively to strengthen their bond, rather than descending into the “blame game” which is all too common after an affair has occurred.
It is also important for a couple to understand what specific aspects of an affair have done the most damage. For men, knowing their partner engaged in a sexual relationship with another is often the most hurtful; whereas for women, the thought of their partner having an intimate emotional connection with another woman can be the hardest to deal with.
Is there Life after an Affair?
If your relationship has been rocked by an affair, I understand that this must be a very difficult and draining time for you both. I would encourage you and your partner to seek counselling to help you work through some of the painful feelings that you are experiencing.
The ultimate goal would be to repair and restore you relationship and as unrealistic as it might appear to be now, it can be achieved over time. If anything, the chance to work through the fallout of the affair would allow you as individuals to recover and function better in your own personal lives.
I aim to ensure that both parties in the relationship feel comfortable in counselling, and at no time does anyone feel like they are being judged. Confidentiality is also ensured in this trying and sensitive time.
Author:Joey Tai, BA (Psych) Hons, Master of Clinical Psychology.
Joey Tai is a Clinical Psychologist, specialising in couples counselling. Sessions with him are open and warm – he believes that one of the keys to success in therapy is feeling comfortable with the therapist.
To make an appointment try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call Vision Psychology Brisbane on (07) 3088 5422.